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Virginia commit Daniel Pinero will reportedly attend college with the Cavaliers.
We repost the list of who has signed and who has not from the 2013 Astros draft
The famed 10th round pick with five stars has signed and will begin his career as an Astro
Here are some highlights from the press conference announcing Mark Appel as the newest Astros draft pick.
Overall, it was a nice introduction of Appel to the Houston media. What stood out to me most was how impressed Boras seemed to be with Appel. He's represented a lot of players and once compared Oliver Perez to Sandy Koufax. Maybe it was posturing, but if he's that on board with Appel's character, the Astros might have a mighty fine pitcher very soon.
In a little less than an hour, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel will officially become Astros right-hander Mark Appel, as the Houston native signs his contract with the team at a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m.
By signing 13 days after the draft, Appel becomes one of the quickest No. 1 picks to sign in recent years. Obviously, Carlos Correa getting a deal done days after being drafted last year set the precedent, but with Scott Boras, fans were probably right to assume things might drag on this year.
Take Stephen Strasburg for instance. The former San Diego State righty was taken with the first overall pick in 2009, but didn't sign his major league contract until August 17 of that year, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Who represented Strasburg? Boras.
What about Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in 2011? After being drafted in June of that year, it took the College of Southern Nevada star until August 16 to sign his major league contract with Washington. Harper, as you might guess, is also represented by Boras.
Of course, 2013 marked the second year of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, which puts tighter deadlines on when picks have to be signed. The fact that Boras didn't string this negotation out until the deadline again speaks to the Houston front office's relationship with him and to Appel's desire to get his career going.
The Astros sign first pick Mark Appel and set press conference for 3 pm today.
Some random thoughts and ideas that pop out of Mark Appel's alleged deal with the Astros.
The Astros have signed their number one pick, Mark Appel, to a below slot deal.
The Astros put out a news release this afternoon that had four names on it. Three of them we already knew: Conrad Gregor, Jacob Nottingham and Jon Kemmer. The fourth name, Ronnie Mitchell, was not someone we had previously seen on the internet.
Mitchell is the Astros 38th round selection, a centerfielder from Dallas Baptist University.
Mitchell stands at 5'10" and weighs in at 194 pounds, according to his profile.
For the Patriots, as a senior, Mitchell had a .283 batting average, four home runs, three triples and 15 doubles in 237 at bats. He also had 40 walks to 25 strike outs which certainly tabs him as a Luhnow type of guy. On the base paths he stole 12 bases while only being caught once. Defensively, he had one error in 113 chances.
Here's the full press release:
HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today the signing of four selections from the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft: 1B Conrad Gregor (4th round), C Jacob Nottingham (6th round), OF Jon Kemmer (21st round) and OF Ronnie Mitchell (38th round). Contract terms were not disclosed. The announcement was made by Astros Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Elias.
Gregor, 21, becomes the Astros highest selection to sign since last weekend's draft. The first baseman/outfielder out of Vanderbilt hit .308 this season with 48 RBI and a .440 on-base percentage, while finishing tied for sixth in the country with 54 walks. A Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American, Gregor was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team this summer while Vanderbilt advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Gregor was signed by Astros Area Scout Nick Venuto.
"Conrad is an advanced, skilled hitter with a chance to be a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat," said Elias. "He has a sweet left-handed swing and a very disciplined approach that has worn out opposing pitchers in the SEC and the Cape Cod League. He has big raw power that we expect will continue to emerge as he develops, and with his speed, he could see time in the outfield as well as first base."
Nottingham, 18, hit .543 with seven homers and 31 RBI for Redlands High School in California this season. He was named the 2013 Citrus Belt League MVP, while leading his club to a share of the league title, and also earned 2013 California All-Region Second Team honors. Nottingham was signed by Astros Area Scout Brad Budzinski.
"Jacob is a very promising young catching prospect," said Elias. "He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and has shown us big game power along with a plus throwing arm. We are thrilled to get a catcher with his tools and leadership qualities into our system."
The Astros have signed 17 of their 40 draft picks this season, including five of their top 10.
The Astros have come to an agreement with Andrew Thurman who will sign early next week.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo, the Astros are nearing a deal with Appel:
Here's a quote from Jeff Luhnow:
"He and I both understand this is a long-term working relationship, and that the goal is for his client to play in Houston for a long time," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said earlier this week. "For either of us to risk that for some short-term gain is not wise. We both know that. I think Scott is very good at what he does. He advocates for his players and gets great deals. We're good at what we do, too."
The article indicates that Mark Appel could be looking at a contract twice what he was offered last year by the Pittsburgh Pirates who offered him $3.8 million to sign. Most of the signed draftees have been tight lipped about what they've signed for, however, we've heard that Vanderbilt stars Conrad Gregor has signed for slot value and Tony Kemp has signed for significant money (H/T Astros County). It sounds like most of the draftees are signing for around slot, which concerns me regarding getting someone like Austin Nicely sign who was given several gold stars by scouts as a player they expect to exceed expectations.
Another reported signing, though this report comes from one of TCB's own. Sean Feist took to Twitter last night to say that Jacob Nottingham, the Astros sixth-round pick out of Redlands HS in California, was signing with the club:
It looks like Jacob Nottingham has signed with the Astros and it should be announced shortly.— Sean Feist (@native_astro) June 13, 2013
Nottingham was easily the favorite player in the first 10 picks of our draft experts here (outside of Mark Appel), as he combines that high upside, big-time power and young age that prospect hounds love so much. Here's what they had to say about him when he was drafted:
If you want some upside and some projection, this kid has it. He's definitely a project, but the upside definitely there. At first look, he looks like a right fielder as he stands 6-3 and is very lean, yet strong at 200 pounds. He then steps into the batters box and has a tall stance and you see a guy with power. Then, you see him put on catcher's gear and his defensive value shoots up!
According to Jeff Lockridge of the Tennesseean, Astros fourth-round pick Conrad Gregor, a first baseman/outfielder from Vanderbilt, has agreed to terms with the team.
Gregor is a powerful corner guy who hit nine home runs in three seasons with the Commodores. He hit .308/.440/.410 this season for Vandy with 29 strikeouts and 54 walks in 227 at-bats.
According to The Luhnow Code, it also appears the Astros will be moving the athletic Gregor into the outfield in pro ball. Gregor played mostly at first base this season with the Commodores. Here's what our draft group had to say about him on Day 2:
Gregor has good size and has the frame for power. He stands 6-3 and weighs 215 pounds. As a left-handed hitter, he creates some good leverage along with good load on his back leg in his swing. He has decent weight shift and he's quick to the ball. There aren't many holes either. He's shown power potential in the past with eight home runs scattered over 44 games in the Cape last summer. But, the six total in his last two seasons in college play is concerning.
That's the highlight with Gregor. Few holes in his swing and great discipline leads to few strikeouts and tons of walks. He's actually had 53 walks this season compared to 26 strikeouts. Thats the type of thing we saw out of draftees last year in Nolan Fontana, Joe Sclafani, and Andrew Aplin.
He's probably limited to first base as well. He's played in the outfield before and that may be an option moving forward, but first base is the likely home for him. He has a strong lower half, but he's fairly athletic and doesn't look like a liability at first.
No word on signing bonus, but it's assumed he got under slot. Of course, we also assumed teammate Tony Kemp got under slot and it appears he got quite a bit more. So, time will tell.
On Thurday, the Houston Astros signed nine more draftees, including the SEC Player of the Year Tony Kemp and eighth rounder Jason Martin.
Some of the names we already knew and some we didn't. Here's the complete list of today's signees, with the Astros affiliate they are ticketed for:
5.1 (137): Tony Kemp, 2B, Vanderbilt (Tri-City)
8.1 (227): Jason Martin, CF, Orange Lutheran HS (GCL Astros)
23.1 (677): Thomas Lindauer, SS, University of Illinois Champaign (Tri-City)
25.1 (737): Albert Minnis, LHP, Wichita State (Tri-City)
26.1 (767): William Chrismon, RHP, East Carolina (NC) (Greeneville)
27.1 (797): Patrick Christensen, RHP, La Salle University (Tri-City)
29.1 (857): Randall Fant, LHP, Arkansas (Tri-City)
32.1 (947): Zach Morton, RHP, Northwestern (Tri-City)
40.1 (1187): Tyler Brunneman, RHP, Hardin Simmons University (Greeneville)
Here's what Elias had to say about Martin, who becomes the third top 10 pick to sign so far:
"Jason has what we call a ‘strong profile' for a center fielder - he's fast, he's a left-handed hitter, he works good at-bats and he can hit - all ingredients to develop into a prototypical leadoff man one day," said Elias. "He impressed our scouting staff this spring with his consistent and energetic play and is only 17 years old, so we are looking forward to watching him grow and advance in our system."
Houston has now signed 13 of the 40 picks, with only two of those left publicly saying they will not sign.
Thanks to Astros County,we get this note that Houston's 15th round pick James Farris is heading back to the University of Arizona so he can be their Friday night starter. From the article in the Tucson Citizen:
Farris was the Sunday starter on Arizona's 2012 national championship team, going 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA. He was the Saturday starter this season, finishing at 5-5 with a 4.18 ERA.
"He wants to increase his draft status, and I think he can do that," Lopez said. "There used to be a stigma about being a senior and not getting picked to the 55th round. But a lot of seniors get drafted in the first 10 rounds now (because of the new bonus slotting system). If he pitches well, he could go in the top 10 rounds easy."
Farris marks the second player who has publicly declared he will not sign, after 35th round pick Kacy Clemens said he's heading to the University of Texas instead of signing with Houston.
Per Jim Callis, we also get details on what seventh-rounder James Ramsay was inked for:
As AC notes, that's a savings of $27,300 off Ramsay's expected slot bonus. I'm sure that will convince Nottingham to sign, right?
According to his Twitter feed, the Astros have now signed one of their highest drafted picks. Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp says he's now officially a member of the Astros organization.
Kemp is doing the best Jose Altuve impression in organized baseball. The 5-foot-6 sparkplug was one of the best players in the Southeastern Conference for Vanderbilt this past season. Kemp, who played second base for the Commodores, led his team with a .391 batting average, a .471 on-base percentage and 34 steals in 48 attempts. He also hit 13 doubles and six triples this season and became the first Vandy player since Pedro Alvarez in 2007 to make the All-America first team.
Our own Subber10 had this to say about Kemp after he was drafted:
Kemp is a very small player at 5-7 and only 165 pounds but plays hard and with speed. He's built like a smaller version of Delino DeShields Jr. and a faster version of Jose Altuve. He plays very hard and knows how to use his speed. He's stolen 32 bases out of 46 opportunities and has legged out six triples.
Houston sent out a release on Tuesday announcing four official draftee signings. They include two that we already know, seventh rounder James Ramsay and 34th rounder Brett Booth, along with 13th rounder Kyle Westwood and 22nd rounder Sebastian Kessay.
Both Westwood and Ramsay are ticketed for short-season Tri-City, according to the release, while Kessay is heading to Greeneville and Booth will be headed to the Gulf Coast League Astros.
Ramsey may be the best defensive player in the entire draft, according to this tweet:
He hit .337 this season with an on-base percentage of .409, three home runs and 19 total extra-base hits in 243 at-bats. Ramsey also was successful on 12 of 18 stolen base attempts.
Westwood, a right-hander out of North Florida, was 4-1 in 14 games and nine starts for the Ospreys this season. He struck out 71 in 62 innings of work while walking 12.
Kessay, a lefty from Scottsdale Community College, struck out 98 in 79 innings this season while going 8-2 in 15 games and 13 starts. He also walked just 31 with a 1.71 ERA.
Booth wrapped up his Crimson Tide career by hitting .290 with a .378 on-base percentage, both of which led the Alabama team this year. Booth added six home runs and 10 doubles, swiping five of six bases for good measure. He also caught 47 percent of the baserunners who attempted to steal on him this season, suggesting he's got a pretty good arm.
Our master signing page can be found here, check back for regular updates
These are coming in fast and furious tonight. I can only imagine that Mike Elias and team are burning up their cell phone minutes to get these banged out.
At any rate, we get one left-hander Albert Minnis, 25th round pick out of Wichita Sate, who announced on Twitter that he's heading to the New York-Penn League.
Officially a part of the Houston Astros organization! Next stop, Troy New York.— Albert Minnis (@minnis33) June 11, 2013
We also have a note from 18th round pick, third baseman Adam Nelubowich's hometown newspaper that he's likely to begin his pro career with the Tri-City Valley Cats. Here's the tweet from the local sportswriter.
Stony's Adam Nelubowich to begin pro baseball career in NY - the state not the city - in A level short season for parent Houston Astros— gord m (@gord_RepEx1) June 11, 2013
The reason I say it's only possible is that the writer could just be explaining where Nelubowich might be playing if he signs, not that he actually has signed yet. If he is under contract, Nelubowich would be the second-highest drafted Astro to be inked today, behind seventh-round pick James Ramsey.
Alas, there won't be a return to the mound by a Clemens in the Astros minor league system this year, as 35th round draft pick Kacy Clemens, the son of former major leaguer Roger Clemens, announced Sunday that he intended not to sign with Houston and to attend the University of Texas to play baseball.
"It was great to hear his name called and always an honor to be selected," the elder Clemens told the Houston Chronicle. "His sights will be set on the 'The University' to get his education and get the 'Horns back to Omaha!"
Clemens marks the first Astros draftee to indicate he would not sign a contract with the team. Other high schoolers like Jacob Nottingham have been noncommital while it sounds like Devante German, the 11th rounder, is willing to sign and join the Astros, as is 10th rounder Austin Nicely.
Houston will also have to wait on a pair of Tarheels, as both third rounder Kent Emmanuel and ninth rounder Brian Holberson will be heading to Omaha for the College World Series.
"He embodies what we look for in top-of-the-order hitters," Elias said. "Wears pitchers out with his patience, makes contact to all fields, and uses his speed. He reminds our scouts in Florida of Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay."
Smith states that Houston is moving quickly with many of their picks after the first 10 rounds and expects many of them to sign soon.
That's why another pick, 23rd rounder Thomas Lindauer, a shortstop out of Illinois-Champaign, also is signing soon, according to sportswriter Daniel Makarewicz.
That's four picks and counting Houston has signed. No Mark Appel though, so I guess my prediction he gets signed by Monday is blown. Not the first, or the last, time I've been wrong.
I wonder if he'll be in uniform in time for the next homestand, though. Houston likes showing off the high picks at home games.
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